Monday, November 21, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

Dear Friends, Family, and stumblers upon (I seriously doubt that there
are actually any of those...),

Happy Thanksgiving! Mom, I miss your pies. =) Family, I miss your
love and wonderful-ness. Friends, I miss the awesome times. These
are all things I'm grateful for. More importantly, however, are the
things that I DON'T miss. I don't miss the Lord. I don't miss His
love, His gospel, His church, or His blessings. I don't miss working
mad overtime for Him. I don't miss the awesome people and
missionaries here. I don't miss the Walton's (they're SO awesome).
And I definitely don't miss scripture study (except on really busy
days... I'm working on it). Thanksgiving is awesome.

Today is actually only kind of a P-Day... We have time for shopping
and e-mails. The rest is a proselyting day. Why? Tomorrow, we give
thanks. =) We're going to party with the Walton's and all the
missionaries at the mission home. It's pretty much an all-day fiesta.
Hence... Today. Why have 2 p-days? Silliness.

I love it here. We have 2 more investigators (Joseph Smith and Lydia)
set for baptism on the 26th. We have a bunch more progressing and
we'll see more baptisms within the month. Yesterday, Domingas,
Ivonaldo, and Zidani came to church for the first time in a few weeks.
They asked us when we were planning on coming over again (they live
really far away and couldn't meet for a few weeks due to testing in
schools and the like). I'm SO stoked for this. The three of them are
incredible and will definitely be baptized soon. Antonica will be
married in February and baptized the same day. Mifi is still trying
to set a date for her wedding, but it'll happen. We're meeting with
SO many more people, but I think that explains it okay for now.

Next week, 7 people are getting baptized. This week, 4 people were.
The work is taking off like crazy! Our responsibility is to be
careful--we don't want to baptize someone who won't remain strong in
the church. It'd just be a waste. We truly have to prepare them and
show them WHY they need this for life.

Yesterday, we suffered 2 deaths. Regianna's (a member in our branch
from Brazil) father (who lives in Brazil) and Farão (the husband of a
member in our branch who was getting really close to baptism). Farão
was really sad for me personally. I really liked him and it was
really sudden (two weeks ago we were sitting in his living room
talking about Portugal). Last week, he suffered a heart attack. We
went to the hospital and gave him a blessing. Yesterday the
complications set in, apparently. Super sad. Mostly because he
hadn't yet joined the church. But... I know his willingness is going
to be with him in the next life. Our job now is to get his name to
the temple. If you all could, please keep Irmã Bebinha in your
prayers--her and her daughter Barbra are having a hard time. Regianna
is doing well but I'm sure it's not easy. She's flying to Brazil

Death makes you think. Don't... leave this message behind. If you
haven't found it yet, please consider it. I want you all in my life
again someday--after I leave this mortal behind. Like Nephi, I have
great hope that many, if not all, may be one day saved in the Kingdom
of my Father.

Well, I'm a little short on time. I love you guys and am so thankful
for you. Keep the faith, stay the course, and never let a moment slip
by that you can't get back.

Until next week,

Elder Cody R. Eckman

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